Where to stay in Hoi An

Vietnam’s historic coastal resort has a range of lush digs that deliver serious bang for your buck.Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Lush gardens and villas at An Villa.
Lush gardens and villas at An Villa.
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Vietnam’s coastline doesn’t get much better than Hoi An, which pairs sublime beaches with a UNESCO-listed Old Town. In fact, it’s that cultural clout (with attendant preservation orders) that means that there’s no fast-mushrooming hotel scene around here; it’s also partly the reason why everything’s so deliciously laid back. This is a place where you can spend the morning mooching round the streets, and the afternoon on the beach — and hotels amp up the relaxation, with palm-surrounded pools, lush gardens and an inside-outside feel to the rooms.

Although the last major opening was from an equally major player (Four Seasons, no less), the bulk of the hotels here are smaller affairs, though no less lovingly run. Pick an independent property and you’ll get good bang for your buck, even if you’re sleeping in a private villa. Go for a traditional, wood-rich look for the classic Hoianese experience.

An Villa
You’ll find no TVs at this riverside spot which is equidistant between the Old Town and Cua Dai Beach; instead, your room is filled with books and board games. We say room, but actually the six units are self-contained studios or villas — all with a kitchenette and private terrace, and set within a tranche of lush, palm-shaded gardens. French-Vietnamese architect Helena Tran Quang Man has nailed the current trend for natural, laid-back design: dark wood furniture is tastefully mismatched in each room, and the colourful bedspreads are homely and fun. Inside and out blend together here, with terraces opening onto either a pond, the pool, the river or the on-property lake with a yoga deck balancing above it on stilts. The restaurant, Mum’s Kitchen, serves up delicious family recipes. Studios from £42, villas from £112. 

East West Hoi An Villas
The current owner’s grandparents used to live on this land between the Old Town and Cua Dai Beach. Today, it’s been transformed into 16 villas. The accommodation itself is modern, with the odd bathtub set in the centre of the open-plan bathroom, but outside, nature reigns supreme, with the smart pool fringed by greenery. Doubles from £31. 

La Siesta
Take a nap on the daybeds at this peaceful hotel, which is surrounded by rice paddy fields. Rooms are fairly classical here: all colonial-style dark woods and prettily arranged mosquito nets in the Club Wing, with more hotel standard digs in the Classic Wing. The best part? All rooms have a balcony that overlooks the pool. Doubles from £73. 

Hoi An Eco Lodge & Spa
This swish sanctuary has been done out in rustic Hoi An style, so the modern rooms feature plenty of floorboards and wooden accents, with lush plants snaking up to the windows, and balconies overlooking a coconut forest. The bar and restaurant is pretty special — it’s cantilevered over a small, lily pad-dotted lake. Doubles from £46.  

Published in the May 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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